An interview with myself – By @CharlesHueWill1

By Charles Hue Williams


An interview with myself 


I had a great education. I was very privileged for that. I learnt the essentials and got the grades but it wasn’t until the chance to specialise that I really found myself. School became fun. I was excited to start the day. I didn’t mind when the weekend was over. I even managed to workout how to avoid wearing a school uniform. If you’ve seen my uniform, you’ll understand what a great achievement that was. 

I ended up following my passions and as an obvious result really enjoyed my time, finding the subjects best suited to me. With this new found ability however, came a new found ego. 

I applied to all of the top universities naive to the fact that my subjects were too specialised. This however led me on a different route, as I gained a spot on an art foundation instead. 

I ended up focusing on graphic design for its future prospects of employability but I never really connected with the subject. I struggled to make the change from using my hands, to using a computer. Only finding solace in photoshop and otherwise relying on my creativity rather than production to get by. Maybe I just wasn’t mature enough to try. 

After I was no longer on a regimented system, no rules or regulations it was as though I peaked. I was having a great time but not listening to advice. Relying on my skill to keep me going, but putting in minimal effort along the way. 

As I passed through university, my studies became less of a priority and more of a hustle, as I perfected the art of getting by. I seemed to care about two things, getting fucked or getting fucked up. I used negative family events as a cover for my dip in attitude. This may have been a contributor to my behaviour, but it was my own inflated-ego that was the foundation. 

My failures however had a positive lesson of their own go teach. I had to resit my second year but with no courses to attend and accommodation for my final year already organised, I needed a new plan. I used this pocket in my education as an oppurtunity for a ‘year in industry,’ doing voluntary work for the local link community foundation. My role was to turn their boring documentation into more visually emotive pieces. I wasn’t amazing at this practice but you couldn’t really fail, any improvement was a significant success. 

When I was finally ready to return to my studies, I made it quickly apparent that nothing had changed. I progressed through my final year with the same lackluster effort as before. My previous failures were not enough to kick me into shape, instead just moving me to a gear that would again keep me afloat. At least more efficiently than the previous attempt. 

Graduating with mediocre grades, surprisingly, rewarded me with a mediocre job. An authentic representation of the mediocre effort I put in. I was actually grateful to be using my design degree. Although it wasn’t my true calling, I certainly preferred it to the customer service or human resources departments and I was about to learn why. 

In hindsight this company was not looking for a graphic designer. They were on the hunt for a body. A tool in the system that could assist with not only their design needs but also their marketing, sales, customer service and any other odd job deemed necessary. I suddenly had to adapt and find which cog I could become, whilst still bearing my daily existence — managing to ascertain a doable minimum that fit nicely with the minimum mentality my life had been running on for a while now. 

I was back to getting the most out of my nights whilst staying above water during the day. My career became stagnant, with a personal life on the decline, and a family issue steadily worsening. This was my story for the next four years as my career went nowhere. I began to see the consequences of my mistakes as those who were beside me started to succeed. 

Knowing it was time to grow up, I tried to apply my own new-found work ethic, only to find there was no place for it. The company still wanted a cog and as long as the task was done that sufficed. Additional effort wasn’t encouraged because it couldn’t be rewarded, with the chance of development becoming an obsolete option. 

The scales began to tip further out of favour, as the workload increased, but still no incentive rose to meet it. My only reward was the pride I found in my own work but this wasn’t enough to keep me motivated. Yet I found it impossible to move on, I was afraid of starting again, in something else that I may not enjoy or feel I could succeed in. 

As a side note, for a long time and an inexplicable reason I had always wanted to get into advertising. It was at the top of my list but I never felt ready to approach it. Deciding it was something I wanted to do when I was at my best, but this status had continued to elude me. 

Eventually and thankfully the final straw came and I knew I couldn’t continue in my job. I had to go somewhere and it might as well be the door that keeps knocking, even if I didn’t seem ready to answer. 

I didn’t utilise my higher education. I was arrogant and thought I knew better. I might have had skill but without effort, it was meaningless. One thing that didn’t follow my worth ethic was my emotional knowledge. The events that pushed me away from my studies taught me a very different lesson but one I am far more grateful for. A detached sense of self. How to look at a situation beyond my own needs and importance. Life is really the best tool for education and we’re all automatically enrolled. 

Since starting SCA my new work ethic has been tested and pushed beyond any preconceived potential. Luckily for me, my colleagues say that they’ve learnt more in a term and a half here, then in their entire higher education. This is an obvious fact for myself, as I was asleep for half of it but also a nice reminder that it’s never too late to start again. 

My emotional maturity is finally at a level that is ready for SCA, constantly tested by how much further the school pushes you. Most importantly to me though, beyond my changes in attitude and value, I have found something that I am again passionate about. Something that excites me at the beginning of every morning. 

I was recently working with my classmates as we scrambled to get our projects finalised for the most recent portfolio brief. I found myself stopping mid action and breaking for a smile. It was 10pm, the night before a deadline and although we still had a mountain of work to get through, I was having a great time. 

Although I do find it crazy, how I was seemingly content with running on minimal for so long. I feel truly lucky to now be doing something I love, with such a great group of people. I have rekindled a forgotten passion, which in turn has given me a new drive. Be it excited or afraid because I’ve finally found my top gear. 

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